Netflix and Redbox have been the new hotness in rentals for the last few years but both have significant drawbacks. With Redbox, it's the box and the morons who are constantly standing in front of it paging through every single movie in the thing and for Netflix's Watch Instantly it's a lack of new releases available for instant viewing. Now there's a new startup, Zediva, that takes on both of those issues by sticking with DVDs, but instead of shipping them to customers or placing them in kiosks, just streams them on demand from one player, to one viewer (unlike Netflix, sometimes movies are "rented out" if there are no copies available at the moment -- renting a flick gives you control of the DVD player, with fast forward and reverse, for four hours) for $1.99 a rental or 10 for $10.
Apparently it's been in beta for a year but is now available to all and is currently offering new release DVDs the same day they go on sale by simply purchasing them at retail. There's no HD content yet but it claims Blu-ray titles will be offered soon. The Associated Press talked to a copyright lawyer who points out the case of a hotel that implemented a similar system but was sued into oblivion before calling Zediva "cute, but illegal" so if you decide to check it out, we'd recommend getting through that 10-pack of rentals with haste.
Update: We did recommend haste, didn't we? Zediva's registration is now listed as "temporarily full" and prospective users are being asked to join a waiting list. Thanks, Ialo!
Zediva mashes up Netflix and Redbox for $1.99, four hour-window DVD streaming rentals
Richard Lawler|@Rjcc|March 16, 2011 8:52 PM